Hard freeze warnings persist in the South but warmth on horizon: Latest forecast

Hard freeze warnings persist in the South but warmth on horizon: Latest forecast
ABC News
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By MAX GOLEMBO, EMILY SHAPIRO, and MELISSA GRIFFIN, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Friday brought another frigid morning to the hard-hit South, where temperatures dipped into the teens and 20s.

The region gradually will warm up throughout the day, melting some ice and snow, but one more night of cold is expected to re-freeze roadways.

Hard freeze warnings remain in effect for parts of the South as wind chills are expected to fall into the teens and 20s, from Texas to Mississippi, on Saturday morning.

After a week of historic and disastrous cold, snow and ice, over 14 million in Texas are experiencing disrupted water service and over 180,000 customers in the state arestill without power.

In Harris County — home to Houston — there have been 10 hypothermia deaths and over 600 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.

President Joe Biden said on Friday he would sign a major disaster declaration for Texas, separate from the emergency declaration he signed Sunday.

In Jackson, Mississippi, most residents have little to no water pressure. Jackson Public Works Director Charles Williams said the length of the cold snap in Jackson has taken a toll on water production.

“Hopefully, by this weekend you will start seeing some pressure build back up, and water will slowly be restored,” Williams said Thursday, adding that it’s difficult to provide a timeline because weather impacts are “unpredictable.”

But the record cold blast should break down over the weekend and into early next week — in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, temperatures may even reach the 70s.

Meanwhile, the Northeast is enduring another snowstorm.

The heaviest snow totals are north of Philadelphia and in central New Jersey, where up to 11 inches fell over the last 24 hours.

The New York City area saw 3 to 5 inches of snow, while the Boston area got about 2 inches.

Winter weather advisories remain in effect from Philadelphia to New York City.

Southern New England could see another 1 to 3 inches of snow before the storm leaves Friday night.

Some 6 million vaccine doses have been delayed due to this week’s weather, affecting all 50 states, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said Friday.

More than 2,000 vaccine sites are still without power and unable to receive doses, he said.

“We’re already working to clear this backlog — 1.4 million doses are already in transit today, and we anticipate that all the backlog doses will be delivered within the next week, with most being delivered within the next several days,” Slavitt added.

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